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calendar   Thursday - February 25, 2016

Since when did CIA stand for Central Inclusion Agency?

Sorry for the delays. But I’ve been busy for more or less the past week and a half with family stuff, helping someone with travel prep, and getting ready for my Birthday (which is tomorrow on the 25th). So I’m just coming back out of my shell now. But it seems like the news keeps outpacing me. I began working on this analysis on Scalia’s funeral and Obama’s priorities (or lack thereof). Then I received news of a death and started work on an obituary. But now… Now...... I learn of THIS. THIS damn mess. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/Diversity_Inclusion_Strategy_2016_to_2019.pdf

Yes, apparently the CIA has a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.” Heck, not only that, but an ANNUAL one. You want to read all that? I sure don’t. But I think the money quote is really on the first page, coming from John Brennan- the CIA Director HIMSELF. And what does this fine defender of America and secretive public servant go out and write when he comes out to justify the tax dollars he’s been given?

Embracing and leveraging diversity through an inclusive culture that fosters innovation, new ideas, and new insights which is at the heart of what we are charged to do and will drive mission success.”


Soooooo..... see a bit of a problem with this?

The CIA is a damn spy agency. The heart of what it is tasked to do is conducting covert operations against our enemies, try to keep our own stuff secret, and interdict operations and other threats against us. It is meant to Spy. In that line of work, diversity and especially inclusiveness are NOT virtues.

Why? Because spying and intelligence gathering are ultimately based on a bedrock of exclusiveness. Terms like “Need to Know” and “Security Clearance” are inherently exclusive and the very basis for the world these groups operate in, in large part because they need to. From the very start they are dependent on EXCLUDING those who Do Not Need To Know from those who Do. Excluding people who cannot be trusted with given intelligence from those that can. Exclude the people who might be vulnerable to external pressure or compromising things from those who are. On any given issue or operation the former categories will include the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet, including the country the agency or operation in question is working for. And all of this is before those select few who people do decide to trust are further shuffled and compartmentalized with their own, even more finely grained “Need to Know” restrictions, security clearances, and other dividers; all so that if there’s a break in one compartment the entire ship doesn’t go down.

This is not merely useful for these organizations, they are integral parts of what they are and what they need to do in order to Survive At All. Now, since we got here by asking why being inclusive and diverse is not always a good thing in the spook business, it’s only fair to ask “Why?” again. Why is this pervasive secrecy and exclusion needed for intelligence services?

Well, I decided to start this off with a snippet of this fascinating alternate history article from the BBC, dealing with a centuries old case. Namely, The Gunpowder Plot. Now, this was not an intelligence operation or something conducted by a government authority. It was in fact a highly murderous terrorist plot devised by people who wanted to utterly destroy a significant chunk of London and thousands of people just to get at the King and Parliament to (regardless of what the average Fawkestard or 4Chan apologist would have you believe) establish an even more repressive and absolutist government. But not only is this the kind of terrorist threat that modern intelligence organizations are supposed to per-empt, but it also featured people operating as spies, planning military (Emphasis in following is mine)


As history actually turned out, there are two very good reasons why the Gunpowder Plot had to fail. The first was that the plotters were caught in the double-bind of most early modern conspirators: in order to make a rebellion work, it had to involve a lot of people, but the more people who knew about the plot, the more it was likely to leak.

In the case of this one, the means of effecting it, by murdering most of the English political élite, was so sensational and so morally disturbing to most people, that the chances of somebody blowing the whistle on it were unusually high.

That is exactly what happened; one of the people brought into the plot in its later stages (probably the unstable Francis Tresham) told an opportunist peer, Lord Monteagle, who tipped off the government.

Whoever sent that letter to Baron Monteagle most likely was not disloyal to the plan or the cause (of establishing a tyranny more in line with the likes of 17th century Spain over the ashes of London). If he had been, he probably would have sent it to someone else. A player in the well-oiled Elizabethan network of spies and informants that James inherited, or actual authorities of the Crown rather than Lord Monteagle. Someone actually in the government rather than just standing in Parliament. The Monteagle Letter (as it’s called now) was probably sent by a sincere, loyal terrorist who wanted to avoid killing someone he thought could be an ally because Monteagle was a fellow Catholic.

So in many ways the Gunpowder Plotters were perversely lucky compared to a lot of modern spy rings, planners, and other operatives. And it still did them in. The letter was the crucial straw that led to the end, and within two weeks of the letter’s delivery the plan had collapsed and most of the group accounted for, and in less than two and a half months all the known conspirators were arrested or dead. 

This example helps demonstrate one of the key concepts of intelligence work, or really using any kind of lie or deception. That you should have as few people in the know as possible in order to make it work. Enough that (hopefully) whatever you have planned should be successful, but no more to avoid the risk that somebody will write something, say something, get caught, or otherwise expose it. It’s the reason why care must be taken in who investigates even the absolutely, gobsmackingly criminal security breaches Hillary made in her private server (which some investigators do not even have the authorization to look at, or didn’t).  In the case of the Gunpowder Plot the result was that Western Civilization and constitutionalism dodged a very nasty bullet, but these kind of breakdowns do not always work in favor of the good guys. All one has to do to see that is observe the resistance martyrs- like those of the World Wars and Cold Wars, but also people as far back as Nathaniel Hale- to see that. Here is just one sobering example out of countless thousands we know about and God only knows how more we do not. http://www.executedtoday.com/tag/french-resistance/

Now, I can understand that overwhelming uniformity also can be a major problem. All I have to do to see that is observe how the Japanese spy rings in North America, the “White Dominions” of the Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc), and India crashed and burned during WWII. * . Part of the reason why the massive “Cambridge Ring” of Soviet spies within the higher echelons of the British Government happened was because the Brits tended to recruit too much from a upper crust students of a handful of “Ivy League” schools, who were the demographic most likely to be radicalized by Communist propaganda or student politics, were the most likely to be able to radicalize others in their orbit, and were likely to have even non-traitors who would defend them. 

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being too diverse or inclusive would be the even greater risk for an intelligence organization, precisely because it runs against the very grain of what it is meant to do. Spying is about trying to manipulate and uncover the enemy without being manipulated or uncovered by them. Having a rainbow coalition of security risks just for the sake of inclusion or diversity will only undercut the ability to try that in a game where there are incredibly high stakes and the slightest trip up could tip the balance. I would hope our spymasters and intelligence dons and donas would understand that. But then, I am just an uninitiated civilian. However, one of my friends who decidedly Wasn’t one of that did have something to say about this, and gave me permission to quote him.

You do want diversity in intel analysis, but moreso diversity of THOUGHT than anything else. Now from a HUMINT** perspective, you do need diversity of race, to whit you need trusted and capable agents of the races which you need to infiltrate.
Beyond that, race is irrelevant.


That is broadly my thought as well. Intelligence is a field where it helps to be able to think outside the box and have a lot of different thoughts and methodologies working together( though with caveats that there is a limit to the use of diversity of thought when you start employing enemy sympathizers like Kim Philby, leader of the aforementioned Cambridge Ring). But I would argue that the explicit focus on diversity and inclusion is a good sign that- like in universities- diversity of thought is going out the window. And in particular trying to intentionally jigger with the race/sexuality/gender quotas is defeating the purpose.

He also had this to say.

Well sure, in that sense yes, if the existence of any restriction at all becomes definitively what can fairly be called “exclusive” then yeah, it’s exclusive. Except that logic doesn’t make sense. Or rather… If the existence of any restriction immediately disqualifies you from being able to be characterized as inclusive, then yeah, it’s not inclusive. Except, see, it doesn’t. You can be inclusive and not be all-inclusive.

And on some level I can understand this. I’m sure that if you ever wanted to spy from within the genocidal Islamist-Arab Supremacist nightmare ruling out of Khartoum you probably wouldn’t want to use a Black agent. Likewise if you wanted to deal with some genocidal Baptists or Transsexuals who want to murder all the “Heretics"/"Cis-Gens" it would probably help if you had somebody who could pass off as the former or was an actual transsexual.

But let’s be clear here. the differences and diversities of these people (no matter how vastly different they might seem in their private lives or as individuals) are not nearly as important in recruiting them as what they have In Common. Bravery, loyalty, discretion, and willingness to answer the call of duty is the common thread that we will rely on.  There have been many, very colorful and diverse heroes, heroines, and martyrs have served the cause of freedom. Take Neil Munro “Bunny” Roger, the camp, publicly gay fashion designer who served through WWII in glory.  Take Julia Child, the very het, very ‘50s celebrity chef who joined the OSS and served for years from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Take my Grandfather’s quasi-namesake “Garbo” the straitlaced, booky Spaniard anti-Communist and anti-Fascist who was turned down by the British and then decided to go work for German intelligence and sell them a line of bull in order to get SIS’s attention.

Are these people diverse enough for you? Yes, in many ways they are. But what makes them noteworthy is not what makes them diverse but what makes them SIMILAR. It is what made them all trusted agents and heroic figures.

Intelligence gatherers must be exclusive because the cost of failing to do so tends to be paid in blood and worse. And there must be limits to their diversity in order to avoid inviting enemy sympathizers, mercenaries, or other untrustworthy vessels into places where they can do incalculable, often irreplaceable damage.

Diversity and inclusion for the sake of diversity and inclusion alone is the death of serious intelligence gathering. When that is our first line of defense against another 9/11 and a new dark age (in whatever shape) that is something we CANNOT afford. I’d like to hope that this is just a PR stunt by the CIA Director while continuing on doing their work, but in this age of Obama I do not trust it. Would you?

Footnotes/snark below the fold. I’ll try and get back on my posting schedule now.

See More Below The Fold



Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/25/2016 at 06:35 AM   
Filed Under: • DIVERSITY BSHomeland-SecurityMilitaryOutrageousPolitically Correct B.S.Stoopid-People •  
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